Tips to Help You Start a Technical Writing Business
Look around at manuals for heavy machinery and complicated electronics and what do you see, technical writing at work. It’s a small niche in the writing world that often gets glossed over because of how little exposure people really have to it. Bonus for you, as you can get your foot in the door and make some money doing so as a technical writer. So here are some tips and ideas to help set you on a path.
Education is going to be a motivating factor in becoming a technical writer and starting this type of business. A bachelor’s degree is needed and knowledge of a specified field in order to get a job with an employer. If you’ve already put in the time to get the required education, great, you’ve got a head start. But if you haven’t, you might want to look at your local college for classes to get you started.
Software Products to Make Your Life Easier
With your education in the books, you can now focus your attention on your business. One of the primary things you’ll need to make everyday work life easier is software for technical writers. The ability to have everything you’re working on in an easy-to-access location from home or an office is superb and the cloud allows this to happen. Having the right software in place that you’re comfortable handling will allow you to produce professional-looking results for all of your projects. So do yourself and your business a favor and invest in good software. Bonus, it’s a tax-deductible expense.
Getting Over the Humps
As a small business, it can be hard to get the proverbial ball rolling. You have the ideas and the motivation, but something like capital will get in the way. Starting a business comes with additional hardships, especially if you’re trying to work a 9 to 5 while getting your own company situated. Business hardships aside, you’ll have to really want your own company to make it happen. Getting over the humps might take some time, energy and patience but with some dedication and understanding, you’ll be able to overcome any obstacle put in your way.
Brick and Mortar, Virtual or Shared Office Space
This is something that as a technical writing business owner will have to consider. With the ability to work from home or shared office spaces, the idea of having a physical location to call your own is a tricky one. Ask yourself if your business can afford the cost of having a brick and mortar location and go from there. Weigh the pros and cons for each scenario and see what you can live with in the end. Making a sound decision, in the beginning, can save you money as you progress, so be sure to put some thought into your final decision.
How Many Employees Is Too Many?
When it comes down to it, this is a personal preference. Deciding on the number of employees your small business will have is up to you. Take into consideration the volume of work you’ll be trying to accomplish for your clients and factor in the amount of time needed to complete each required task. Is this something you can do solo or do you need a team of maybe 5 or 10 people? You’ll have to weigh the cost of things in conjunction with the capital coming into your small technical writing business to really get a good understanding of how many people to employ. Remember working hard is great but pushing yourself to the brink isn’t so if an extra person can help with that burden, make a hire.
Starting a business isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you’re determined to make it happen, there’s no limit to how far you can go. Get your ducks in a row in the beginning, and it’ll be (mostly) smooth sailing from there on out.